For about 30 years – nearly as long as the company has been in business – Verco has been buying steel from SSAB. It produces earthmoving attachments and spare parts for industries like mining, quarrying, steelworking, construction, demolition and recycling. It is also part of the worldwide network of Hardox® Wearparts Centers, providing wear parts and repair services to local customers.
Verco’s customers operate under some extreme conditions. The harder the abrasive material the equipment has to deal with, the more important it is to choose the steel carefully. In severe-duty applications, buckets made of milder steels like S355 are going to wear faster – meaning shorter service lives and higher costs related to repair and downtime.
These are some of the reasons why Verco uses Hardox® wear plate in practically every bucket component: shell, rolled formed bottom, cutting edge, side cutters, cheek plates, wear bars and plates. They use Hardox® 450, Hardox® 500 and Hardox® HiTuf in most of their buckets.
For its hot slag buckets for steelworks, Verco is testing Hardox® HiTemp. Unlike traditional quenched and tempered AR steels, which experience a loss of hardness at higher temperatures in the 300-500°C (570-930°F) range, Hardox® HiTemp is specially designed to withstand abrasive conditions in high heat environments.
The company also produces demolition shears, pulverizers and rail cutters in Hardox® 450 and Hardox® 500.
According to Marco Bianchi, export sales manager at Verco, minimizing maintenance costs in these industries poses a huge challenge.
“We offer durable wear parts with low maintenance requirements, which reduces the number of stoppages and cuts costs,” Bianchi says. “Our customers are buying equipment from us that can be mounted on excavators with up to 400 tonnes of operating weight. Such machine stoppages are extremely expensive. With our help and our products that are made in high-strength, highly abrasion-resistant steel from SSAB, they can improve the reliability and cost efficiency of their enormous equipment.”
When it comes to abrasion resistance, compromise can be costly.
Choosing the right steel in equipment attachments will save money down the line. Thanks to the toughness and superior strength of Hardox® steel, companies like Verco can use a thinner plate to lower the overall weight. A severe-duty bucket or attachment built in Hardox® steel with a Brinell hardness of 400-500 HBW can give you higher payloads – and productivity.
Verco’s LIGHT bucket is one such bucket that combines quality and durability. It allows for higher payloads and productivity compared with comparable buckets made from other steels. They last longer and save operators money by minimizing downtime for maintenance and repairs.
Verco used SSAB’s free EcoUpgraded app to check just how much they could save. In the app, customers can specify the equipment type and other parameters and get a downloadable report of how much they can save in terms of fuel savings, CO2 savings and CO2 payback time. The end result for Verco? Some major operational gains, like less bucket weight, less fuel use, less vehicle use and an annual profit increase.
And as an added key benefit, all these factors help to reduce the product’s carbon footprint. All in all, better for business and better for the environment.
Verco’s customers depend on them to deliver not only superior products, but even technical expertise. As a member of the Hardox® In My Body program and the global Hardox Wearparts Center network, Verco gets access to SSAB’s technical expertise and can thus offer customers the latest applications for Hardox® and Strenx® steels.
“We have a strong, long-term relationship with SSAB representatives and can always rely on technical support from them whenever we need it,” Bianchi says. “When customers face problems in their plants, we visit them together with an SSAB engineer who can offer advice on site, assess their technical requirements and assist in solving the problem – often by specifying a stronger steel. This type of cooperation benefits all parties.”
Verco says it will continue to use SSAB’s high-strength steels as it expands into new markets and segments. And Bianchi maintains a positive outlook for the business: “Our objective for the future is to introduce Verco’s SSAB-certified Hardox® In My Body products to as many companies as possible.”